The infuriating thing about James Delingpole is not that he claims, with his usual self-deprecating charm, to be “the journalist who is always right about everything”, but that, for the most part, he really is always right about everything.
I’ve just been reading his new book on climate, “Watermelons”, and I’m hugely impressed. It is so many things at once — a polemic, an analysis, an enormously valuable, well-researched and referenced resource, inspiring to those of us committed to opposing climate alarmism, convincing for those still in doubt, a horrid shock to the Warmists, and an awful warning of the economic damage we’re doing to the West in general and the UK in particular if we go on down the Chris Huhne/Lib-Dem/Coalition’s primrose path to perdition.
It’s more than that. It’s also a stonkingly good read. The kind of book you’d be glad you took on holiday with you, instead of the usual airport block-buster. It’s right up there with Mark Steyn and P.J. O’Rourke. In places it’s laugh-out-loud funny. Delingpole has a neat way of anticipating reader reaction, and addressing it head-on, so that it feels more like a conversation than a lecture.
Delingpole takes head-on the often-repeated claim that climate sceptics are driven simply by money from “big oil” and the fossil fuel industry. As a campaigner against climate alarmism myself, I can tell you from personal experience that no one has ever offered me any kind of bung, nor financial support of any kind. But Delingpole reviews the data, and shows that even on very conservative estimates, the money behind the Warmists — from the UN, the EU, national governments, local authorities, NGOs, think-tanks, charities and foundations, green taxes, emissions trading schemes — exceeds the funding of the sceptics by at least a thousand times.
The central idea of the book is not original, and the “Watermelon” idea has been around for some time. Like watermelons, environmental activists and eco-freaks are green on the outside, but red on the inside. Until the fall of Communism, Marxist philosophy provided the backbone and the fig-leaf (to mix metaphors) for a generalised hatred of growth, progress, wealth, prosperity, success, business and industry — in short, capitalism. With the prop of Marxism effectively kicked away by the collapse of the USSR, the capitalism-haters needed a new hook to hang their hats on, and right on cue, along came environmentalism, which provided a wholly different ground for the same prejudices (ironic, when you think that the old industries of the USSR were about the dirtiest, most polluting in the history of the world).
It’s not true, of course, that all environmental campaigners are former Trots. But many are. Who leads the Green group in the European parliament? None other than Daniel Cohn-Bendit MEP, the Franco-German politician who was a student leader during the Paris riots of 1968. He may be green today, but then he was celebrated as “Dany (sic) le Rouge”.
Delingpole, however, presents the Watermelon idea with a cogency, and an urgency, which has rarely been bettered. In doing so, he deals with the science, the politics, and the lies and prevarications. His chapter on ClimateGate is an eye-opener even for those of us who lived with it and through it. It reminded me just how angry we ought to be with those publicly-funded “scientists” at the UEA/CRU, who used and abused science to support their preconceptions rather than to seek the truth.
In doing so, they have set in train a self-perpetuating myth that is parasitising our economy and our public life. Governments are pouring huge sums of money into climate mitigation efforts which are probably unnecessary, certainly ineffectual, and wholly unaffordable. Current energy policies driven by Huhne, and Brussels, are driving up energy costs, forcing millions of families into fuel poverty, and threatening major disruptions to our electricity supplies by the end of this decade. At the same time, they are driving energy-intensive industries abroad, reducing competitiveness, disincentivising inward investment, and devastating our growth prospects and our employment levels, just as we face the most serious economic challenges for generations, including recession, and the eclipse of the West by the BRICS.
“Watermelons” is, as I have already remarked, many things, including a very good read indeed. But its real importance is as a wake-up call. We are on a road to economic disaster, driven by the Great Global Warming Myth. Other countries around the world are steadily distancing themselves from the lunacy. The longer we leave it before we face reality, the worse our competitive situation will become, as will the debt we leave to our grandchildren. Please do read this book, and heed its message.
“Watermelons” by James Delingpole, published by Biteback Publishing www.bitebackpublishing.com at £14:99. Worth every penny. ISBN 978-1-84954-217-3